The Armansperg Residence – Nafplio, Greece - Atlas Obscura
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The Armansperg Residence

This building was once the most magnificent mansion in Nafplio.  

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In 1829, head of state Ioannis Kapodistrias made Nafplio the official capital of the newly independent Greece. After Kapodistrias was assassinated in 1831, many parts of the country fell into anarchy. The nations that assisted Greece in their struggle for independence, Britain, France, and Russia, intervened and held a series of meetings on what was next for the country.

At the conferences that culminated with the Convention of London in 1832, resulted in the establishment of the Kingdom of Greece with Prince Otto Friedrich Ludwig, the second son of King Ludwig I of Bavaria, selected as the new king. Since Ludwig was underaged, the king appointed Josef Ludwig Graf von Armansperg as Ludwig’s Regent.

Von Armansperg was born in 1787 into Bavarian nobility and was an experienced politician and bureaucrat. He was once Commissioner of Bavaria in the allied army during the Napoleonic Wars. He also served as the Bavarian Interior and Finance Minister from 1826–1828 and Foreign and Finance Minister from 1828–1831.

When von Armansperg arrived in Nafplio in 1833 to assume his duties, he selected a large Ottoman-era mansion in the center of town as his residence. The mansion was originally constructed by the Venetians during their second occupation and underwent renovations in 1831 that included the addition of the second floor. The mansion was not only considered the most impressive in town, but the interior design and decorations were considered among the finest in Europe. Numerous official government and other special events were held at the mansion, many with musical accompaniment on the piano, a rarity at the time.

In 1835, Ludwig was deemed ready to take power and the position of regent was no longer needed. Von Armansperg was rewarded with the appointment of Arch-Secretary but he did not accept the change well. Over the next few years, he became more and more independent and disruptive enough that in 1837, King Otto dismissed him from his post. 

Shortly after his dismissal von Armansperg left Nafplio and returned to Bavaria. After von Armansperg left Nafplio, the mansion remained in government use for a brief period and was then converted into a commercial building. The building had various uses, including its current status as the host of two restaurants, a pharmacy, and varied retail space.

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